By Professor Hovhanness I. Pilikian


A dear friend of mine, Ara Dembekjian, an Armenian American investigative journalist, and a supreme writer in Arabic – his knowledge of literary Arabic (arabi-l fussha) is greater than many of the Arab authors themselves – sent me this hilarious video clip of Donald Trump speaking in Eastern Armenian, the language of the Republic of Armenia.

Most people are lucky to have one language, Armenians possess … two, both of equal literary weight – Western Armenian, the language of those who were genocided by the Ottoman Turks in 1915, and that of the Iranian and Caucasian Armenians who were not touched by the criminal hands of the genociding Turks.  Most Armenians understand both languages, but do not share the same culture, as their linguistic cultures express a different range of psychological and emotional history and life-experience.

This extremely funny video is a superb illustration of that point, I rush to share with your readers; technically, the dubbing is perfect, absolutely remarkable!  Moreover, in terms of the content, the psychology of the Armenians from Armenia is captured so perfectly … obviously, the creators know their stuff very well, and I have no hesitation in calling it a work of sheer creative genius!

It is untranslatable and perfect in Eastern Armenian.  In Western Armenian, we have a folk-expression, to emphasize the hilarity of a first-class joke, we say, khntalên mèrra = dropped dead, from laughing too much!!

Unfortunately, I have to compromise some of its perfection for the non-Armenian public to let them enjoy its uniqueness, albeit in less perfection.

Eastern Armenians are famous for their khorrovads = lamb shish-kebab, eaten with a plate of raw wild herbs, amidst what Armenians call kebab- music, heard in the restaurants of Istanbul.

Unlike the Turkish modern version, the Armenian recipe dates back to its origins in Biblical times of the great Sacrifice – the Passover sacrifice (in Hebrew Pesakh Korban קרבן פסח), the Paschal Lamb, of the Old Testament which commemorated the Exodus from Egypt = the freedom of the Hebrews from the Pharaoh’s slavery…

In Yerevan (the capital city of Caucasian Armenia) today, most weekends, lambs are still brought to Churches to be blessed and sacrificed, eaten with bitter herbs and matzo-like breads … The Armenians, as the first Christians, do so of course with Jesus Christ in their minds, as the Lamb of God.  In Soviet times, neighbours were happy to share their khorrovads with even passers-by…

Most Soviet Armenians ended up in America, naturally carrying their time-old cultural customs with them.  The Armenian Americans now seem to have gained fame in America with their Sunday khorrovads as the Soviet Armenians had throughout the Soviet Union.

Thus Donald Trump is telling his Armenian electorate that, when elected President, he will get all Armenians into the White House for (presumably) a Sunday khorrovads on the lawn with davul & zurna (= drums, Turkish) = loud, ears-splitting mountain music!!

This is the first of his promises – feeding and feasting with Armenians and their khorovads.

The Eastern Armenians (from the Soviet times) had a very warm and heart-warming expression (they still use in intimacy), tsav-t danèm = let me carry your pains away… followed by joghovurt jan = dear, sweet people!   ‘When I’m elected, I shall raise the pensions of the old Armenian men and women, Granddads and grandmas  … but only of the Armenians!  Not others … (implying that his Armenian kebab-audience should not tell others about it, keep it their little secret, thus intensifying the warmth of his emotions exclusively for the Armenians..)

This is his second great promise, followed by the hilarious third, which sums up the Soviet Armenian version of the American dream, fantasized by most Soviet Armenians about America … owning a huge American car, Buick, Oldamobile in olden times, but now a Mercedes

Trump promises to buy every Armenian American a Mercedes … but not a new one, rather an adequate second hand cheapies, after all he does not have so much money, he says (very funny!) …

And his last fourth promise?

Still the most hilarious one, which could drop the Armenians dead laughing…

The gesture beautifully dubbed, the Armenian-speaking Trump promises his rally-audience to f… the mother of the T..urk…s … as his electoral rally specifically for the Armenians erupts into Kebab-music reminiscent of Istanbul …

I have seen the video a dozen times, and can’t stop watching it, and laughing my head off… how I regret that I cannot impart more of the flavour of the original, as the whole of the Eastern Armenian culture, old and modern, the Soviet psychological complexes historical and imaginary, modern capitalist Oligarch-fantasies are all there beautifully conceived and expressed most remarkably under less than a minute!!

Pure genius … It is worth knowing and being an Armenian, just to enjoy this minute of Armenian creative genius… which I hope I could extract and share a flavour of, with you …










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